If you don’t have an app for your business, you’re missing out on a great way to add value for your customers. You don’t have to be a tech guru or have an in-house IT team to create one, either. Instead, you can outsource the whole development process to an independent development team.
Apps provide great means of enhancing your product line or services, and you’ll enjoy a solid return on your investment, as long as you go into the process with a solid plan.
The Benefits of Launching a Mobile App
We’ve briefly mentioned adding value to your business by creating an app. Now, let’s get a little more specific.
Depending on their purpose and functionality, apps provide an efficient way for your customers to shop or conduct other business. Restaurant, banking, and delivery apps have been particularly useful for enabling enterprises to keep serving customers during the pandemic.
Apps allow you to connect with customers on a granular level by using algorithms to track consumer behavior and preferences. This information allows you to offer special discounts or launch customer loyalty programs, which improves the whole customer experience.
But, is an app a good fit for your business? Will you get a solid ROI if you launch an app? Read on to learn more.
What Pain Points or Selling Features Will Your App Cover?
In order for an app to be successful and provide a benefit to your customers, it has to offer features that they would not be able to access otherwise.
For example, a food delivery app will be less useful to customers who can order from your website. However, the app can become very beneficial if you use it to create instant rebates, offer special discounts on app-exclusive products, or deliver in-store specials while a customer is in your shop.
Think of it as effortless upselling. These deals can be personalized by analyzing data about the user’s shopping history and interests.
A fitness app that relies on third-party advertisements from related companies provides value to customers who get deals on fitness-related products or services. You get a percentage on click-throughs and fees from sponsored companies, and the companies who advertise on your apps reach a new audience. It’s a triple win.
Decide what selling points your app will promote, how you will profit from the app, and how they benefit the customer before you talk to a developer.
Will Your Audience Support an App?
Startups may be able to get a little more reach by launching an app, but it often takes a lot of creative marketing to reach a wide enough target audience to get a solid ROI when you’re just starting out.
Before you decide to develop an app for your business, consider if you have the audience to support the number of downloads and usage it would take to make a profit or at least break even.
If the app costs more to develop and market than you could recoup within a reasonable amount of time, it may not be worth the effort and expense.
There are two methods for determining the return on your investment. One is to divide the cost of the investment (hiring a developer, marketing the app, maintenance, and time) by the profit, then multiply that number by 100 percent.
Another method is to divide the cost of the investment by the final value minus the initial value of the investment and times that number by 100 percent. So, if a business invests $2,000 per month to market an app and generates $4,000 per month of revenue from users, the ROI is two percent.
How Much Will the App Streamline Your Business Processes?
How much will creating an app save you on other expenses like marketing or customer care? If an app enables you to streamline or cut some costlier aspects of your business, like order processing or marketing, the app is probably a good investment.
For example, a financial institution that introduces a bill-paying app will provide their customers with added convenience while allowing employees to spend more time nurturing customer relationships.
Consider Your Development Budget
How much talent and money can you invest in the app? For example, if you’re developing in-house, does your IT team have the time for app development, or will it shortchange other projects?
If you’re outsourcing, who will you choose to develop your app, and how much will it cost? Consider whether it will be a short-term collaboration or if the developer offers ongoing support, patches, and upgrades. If they do, do these things cost extra, or are they included in the contract?
When working with third-party developers, finding a good developer or agency is also a significant concern. You want them to offer not just design and functionality, but security by design and ongoing support.
You should also consider how long it will take to develop your app, and if the developer is capable of delivering the functionality you require to meet your needs and those of your customers.
The best price doesn’t necessarily mean the best developer. You get what you pay for. Before hiring a developer, check out other apps they’ve worked on and read customer reviews.
Talk to several developers before choosing one to make sure you’ve found the best fit for your business, budget, and goals.
Before you start out planning an app for your business, you need to know whether it’s a good investment.
As more users transition to doing business via apps, a business app could be of great value for your customers, as well as your employees. Your best bet is to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and how an app ties in with your overall business goals. The tips above will provide you with some guidelines on determining how much you can get in return if you decide to invest in a business app.